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Thursday, May 1, 2008
Madonna's Sex Book

Madonna's Sex Book


Sex is a highly-designed coffee table book written by Madonna with photographs by Steven Meisel Studio and film frames shot by Fabien Baron, released October 21, 1992 by Warner Books. The book was released by Madonna as an accompaniment to her fifth studio album Erotica, which was released a day earlier (October 20, 1992). The extremely controversial book featured strong adult content and softcore pornographic photographs depicting simulations of sexual acts, which included lesbianism, homosexuality, sadomasochism, anilingus, and rape. Madonna wrote all of the erotica in the book as a character named Mistress Dita, inspired by the silent film actress Dita Parlo.


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posted by Abby @ 7:45 AM   0 comments
The Nature of Truth: Classic and Contemporary Perspectives
The Nature of Truth: Classic and Contemporary Perspectives


"What is truth?" has long been the philosophical question par excellence. The Nature of Truth collects in one volume the twentieth century's most influential philosophical work on the subject. The coverage strikes a balance between classic works and the leading edge of current philosophical research.

The essays center around two questions: Does truth have an underlying nature? And if so, what sort of nature does it have? Thus the book discusses both traditional and deflationary theories of truth, as well as phenomenological, postmodern, and pluralist approaches to the problem.

The essays are organized by theory. Each of the seven sections opens with a detailed introduction that not only discusses the essays in that section but relates them to other relevant essays in the book. Eleven of the essays are previously unpublished or substantially revised. The book also includes suggestions for further reading.


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posted by Abby @ 7:44 AM   0 comments
Myths of the Underworld Journey - Radcliffe Edmonds
Myths of the Underworld Journey - Radcliffe Edmonds


Myths of the Underworld Journey: Plato, Aristophanes, and the creators of the "Orphic" gold tablets, employ the traditional tale of a journey to the realm of the dead to redefine, within the mythic narrative, the boundaries of their societies.

Rather than being the relics of a faded ritual tradition or the products of Orphic influence, these myths can only reveal their meanings through this detailed analysis of the specific ways in which each author makes use of the tradition.

"Relying on the best current scholarship, Edmonds examines ancient Greek stories about journeys to the land of the dead." CHOICE May 2005

"Not only does Radcliffe Edmonds offer interesting asnwers to long-standing problems; he also illustrates the advantage of combining an analytic method with a synthetic one. In addition to analytically concentrating on concrete distinctions, he perceives patterns and similarities found at an abstract level." - Synnove Des Bouvrie, University of Tromso

"solid, interesting and helpful insights" - Jon Steffen Bruss



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posted by Abby @ 7:42 AM   0 comments
Spirituality for the Skeptic: The Thoughtful Love of Life
A Blueprint for Success!

Is it possible to be spiritual and yet not believe in the supernatural?

Can a person be spiritual without belonging to a religious group or organization?

In Spirituality for the Skeptic, philosopher Robert C Solomon explores what it means to be spiritual in today's pluralistic world. Based on Solomon's own struggles to reconcile philosophy with religion, this book offers a model of a vibrant, fulfilling spirituality that embraces the complexities of human existence and acknowledges the joys and tragedies of life.

Solomon has forged an enlightened new path that synthesizes spirituality with emotions, intellect, science, and common sense. His new paradigm, "naturalized" spirituality, establishes as its cornerstone the "thoughtful love of life"--a passionate concern for the here-and-now, and not the by-and-by.

Being spiritual doesn't mean being holed up as a recluse, spending hours in meditation and contemplation, Solomon argues. It demands involvement and emotional engagement with others in the struggle to find meaning in our lives. As such, this modern-day spirituality encompasses a passionate enthusiasm for the world, the transformation of self, cosmic trust and rationality, coming to terms with fate, and viewing life as a gift, all of which are explored in depth throughout this book.

Spirituality for the Skeptic answers the need for a non-institutional, non-dogmatic spirituality that leads to personal fulfillment and satisfaction. By examining the ideas of great thinkers from Socrates and Nietzsche to Buddha to Kafka, Solomon arrives at a practical vision of spirituality that should appeal to many seekers looking to make sense of the human condition.



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posted by Abby @ 7:40 AM   0 comments
Fairy Tales and the Art of Subversion - Jack Zipes
Fairy Tales and the Art of Subversion - Jack Zipes


The fairy tale may be one of the most important cultural and social influences on children's lives. But until Fairy Tales and the Art of Subversion little attention had been paid to the ways in which the writers and collectors of tales used traditional forms and genres in order to shape children's lives -- their behavior, values, and relationship to society.

As Jack Zipes convincingly shows, fairy tales have always been a powerful discourse, capable of being used to shape or destabilize attitudes and behavior within culture.


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posted by Abby @ 7:39 AM   0 comments
Why Fairy Tales Stick - Jack Zipes
Why Fairy Tales Stick - Jack Zipes

In his latest book, fairy tales expert Jack Zipes takes on the question of why some fairy tales "work" and others don't, why the fairy tale is uniquely capable of getting under the skin of culture and staying there. Why, in other words, fairy tales "stick." Long an advocate of the fairy tale as a serious genre with wide social and cultural ramifications, Jack Zipes here makes his strongest case for the idea of the fairy tale not just as a collection of stories for children but a profoundly important genre.

Why Fairy Tales Stick introduces new critical approaches to the study of classical fairy tales such as "Cinderella," "Snow White, "Beauty and the Beast," and "Hansel and Gretel" in an effort to understand how and why fairy tales have evolved over the last three hundred years and remained so relevant in our lives. Why culture has favored certain fairy tales may not be simply a question of ideology-tales reinforcing a societal status quo-but also deeply related to issues of genetics, memetics, linguistics, and evolution. Just as we as a species have evolved, Zipes argues, so has the oral folk tale been transformed as literary fairy tale to assist us in surviving and adapting to our environment.


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posted by Abby @ 7:38 AM   0 comments
Superior Beings: If They Exist, How Would We Know? - Steven Brams
Superior Beings: If They Exist, How Would We Know? - Steven Brams


"... this book is first and foremost a philosophical investigation of characteristics of superior beings and their possible impact on games played with human beings. It differs from a conventional philosophical inquiry in its relentless use of a mathematical theory that I have tried to adapt in order to (i) facilitate the conceptualization of superiority, (ii) deduce the consequences superiority has on game outcomes, and (iii) explore theological issues raised by a disciplined inquiry of this sort."


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posted by Abby @ 7:37 AM   0 comments
Dada Culture: Critical Texts on the Avant-Garde
Dada Culture: Critical Texts on the Avant-Garde


How Dada is to break its cultural accommodation and containment today necessitates thinking the historical instances through revised application of critical and theoretical models. The volume Dada Culture: Critical Texts on the Avant-Garde moves precisely by this motive, bringing together writings which insist upon the continuity of the early twentieth century moment now at the start of the twenty-first. Engaging the complex and contradictory nature of Dada strategies, instanced in the linguistic gaming and performativity of the movement's initial formation, and subsequently isolating the specific from the general with essays focusing on Ball, Tzara, Serner, Hausmann, Dix, Heartfield, Schwitters, Baader, Cravan and the exemplary Duchamp, the political philosophy of the avant-garde is brought to bear upon our own contemporary struggle through critical theory to comprehend the cultural usefulness, relevance, validity and effective (or otherwise) oppositionality of Dada's infamous anti-stance.

The volume is presented in sections that progressively point towards the expanding complexity of the contemporary engagement with Dada, as what is often exhaustive historical data is forced to rethink, realign and reconfigure itself in response to the analytical rigour and exercise of later twentieth-century animal anarchic thought, the testing and cultural placement of thoughts upon the virtual, and the eventual implications for the once blissfully unproblematic idea of expression. From the opening, provocative proposition that historically Dada may have been the falsest of all false paths, the volume rounds to dispute such condemnation as demarcation continues not only of Dada's embeddedness in western culture, but more precisely of the location of Dada culture.

Ten critical essays - by Cornelius Partsch, John Wall, T. J. Demos, Anna Schaffner, Martin I. Gaughan, Curt Germundson, Stephen C. Foster, Dafydd Jones, Joel Freeman and David Cunningham - are supplemented by the critical bibliography prepared by Timothy Shipe, which documents the past decade of Dada scholarship, and in so doing provides a valuable resource for all those engaged in Dada studies today.



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posted by Abby @ 7:35 AM   0 comments
John Lennon, In His Own Write
John Lennon, In His Own Write


In this collection of highly-orginal stories, John Lennon's wry personality emerges as he amuses his fans with his humorous insights about life. He also shares over 30 of his distinctive, two-color line drawings.


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posted by Abby @ 7:34 AM   0 comments
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